All Funded Projects

California Reads


The year’s statewide read will focus on Karl Marlantes’ best-selling work of narrative non-fiction, What It Is Like to Go to War

Alameda Free Library (Alameda County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Cossette Ratliff, Supervising Librarian
War Comes Home will have great resonance in Alameda, where veterans make up more than 12% of the nearly 74,000 residents. Alameda Free Library will bring together teens, adults, seniors, and veterans through intergenerational reading and discussion groups, and organize local author panels and writing workshops to provide veterans opportunities to share their experiences of war and reintegration. In partnership with the Alameda Naval Air Museum, the library will also host curated exhibits of veterans-related art and archival materials, photographs, and stories of war workers from World War II up to the 1997 closing of the Alameda Naval Base.

Alhambra Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Michael Whitley, Reference Librarian
Alhambra Public Library will shed light on the experiences and stories of members of the community whose lives have been touched by war, whether in the US or in the home countries of the city’s many ethnically Chinese and Southeast Asian residents. Teen and adult book groups will broaden the examination of war literature to include Fallen Angel, All Quiet on the Western Front, and I’m Still Standing: From Captive US Soldier to Free Citizen in addition to the Marlantes book. The library’s teen advisory board will create a webpage to host oral histories collected from local veterans and survivors of war, and teens will join adults in a craft program with the Knots of Love group.

City of Anaheim Public Library System (Orange County, Orange County)
Project Director: John Simon, Librarian
Anaheim Public Library System will bring community members together to share and understand the unique personal challenges that are part of the lives of the many veterans and active military members who use the library. The library’s central branch will partner with a local VSO to host screenings of two documentary films (Restrepo and Lioness) to be followed by discussions led by a panel of veterans. Special displays including military photographs, memorabilia, and ephemera on loan from local American Legion and VFW posts will rotate through library branches to honor and depict veterans of many different wars.

Butte County Library (Paradise Friends of the Library, Butte County, Far North)
Project Director: Joanna Gutierrez, Town Clerk
The Paradise Friends of the Library aims to establish the Butte County Library branches as safe and informative spaces for veterans to access information and connect with advocates. In pursuit of this, four library branches will host informational forums and workshops that involve discussion of Marlantes’ book, an overview of services provided by VSOs, and presentations by local veterans. Events are scheduled for a variety of times to accommodate both workforce and retirement age groups. Partners will include local veterans’ organizations and local police and fire chiefs.

Camarillo Public Library (Friends of the Camarillo Library, Ventura County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Barbara Wolfe, City Librarian
The Camarillo Public Library is exploring what it means when war comes home through a series of participatory exhibits, healing events, panels, and reading and discussion groups. A meditation workshop and a panel on PTSD featuring military mental health care providers and afflicted veterans will provide those who have been to war with a safe space to learn more about their challenges. Veterans sustainable agriculture training and a veterans home buying workshop will expand their life choices. Others—those who have been touched by war through loved ones and family members as well as those untouched by war—will be able to participate via a veterans spouses panel, a month long participatory veteran photo mapping exhibit, and a letters of gratitude table.

Contra Costa County Library Jurisdiction (Contra Costa County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Chris Brown, Senior Community Library Manager
Contra Costa County Library will capitalize on the strong and extensive relationship it has already established with the veteran community to develop programming with the goal of addressing the problem of the divide between veteran and civilian culture in the area. The aim of programs including community volunteer projects and book discussion groups rotating monthly across library branches throughout the county is to bring veteran and civilian cultures together in a way that will raise awareness of the challenges veterans face due to the impact of military service, as well as of the positive values they bring home. Partners will include the County Veterans Service Office, the Concord Vet Center, the local VA clinic, the VFW, and local veterans groups in addition to schools and historical and cultural organizations and resource centers.

Downey City Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Dan Rooker, Senior Librarian
The Downey City Library will reach out to veterans and current service members, the civilian population, and children enrolled in local schools in order to provide opportunities to build intergenerational connections between veterans and the wider public. Activities will include a veteran-led reading for 5th and 6th grade students followed by a student letter-writing and art project, a panel discussion on the experience of coming home from war, and a campaign in collaboration with local service organizations to provide books for deployed soldiers and veterans. Partners will include local VA representatives, local service clubs, and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Fresno County Library (Fresno County, Central Valley)
Program Director: Linda Aragon, Programming Librarian
Fresno County is home to over 45,000 veterans and a significant number of active duty personnel, as well as a large population of refugees who fled their home countries because of war. To help increase awareness and understanding of the experiences of veterans, soldiers, and those affected by war, the Fresno County Public Library will offer programs across 30 library branches in partnership with organizations including the Fresno Legion of Valor Museum, Fresno Pacific University, Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch, and the Fresno Islamic Center. Activities will include lectures on PTSD and other challenges to reintegration, an exhibit of memorabilia from past and present wars ranging from World War I through Operation Enduring Freedom, intergenerational reading and discussion groups, and a presentation on the history of Islamic Culture aimed at correcting common misconceptions.

Hayward Public Library (Alameda County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Melesha Owen, Supervising Librarian
In order to build a bridge to the estimated 57,562 veterans who call Alameda County home, the Hayward Public Library and partners will conduct a series of programs built around themes and issues raised by Marlantes’s What It Is Like to Go to War. Book discussion groups and film screenings will take place at Hayward’s main and branch libraries as well as in high school and college classrooms. The library will also partner with Soldiers’ Angels to host two community action projects supporting veterans. Additional partners will include the Alameda County Veterans’ Memorial Building, Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s office, and the Oakland regional office of the VA.

Inglewood Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: 
Joel Rane, Acting Principal Librarian (
Working closely with the West Los Angeles Veterans Center, the Inglewood Public Library will carry out a series of programs designed to help veterans strengthen their ties to their communities as well as to increase awareness of the impact of war on Inglewood communities. Events will include a screening of the award-winning film, For Love of Liberty: the Story of America’s Black Patriots, led by the film’s writer, director, and producer, Frank Martin, and a screening of Unsung Heroes: the Story of America’s Female Patriots to be followed by a presentation from the LA Vet Center about their counseling services and how they help veteran women. Additional partners will include the local VFW chapter and the One-Stop Business and Career Center’s veterans employment services office.

Kern County Library Jurisdiction (Kern County, Central Valley)
Project Director: Andie Apple, Assistant Director
( and Kristie Coons, Coordinator, One Book; One Bakersfield; One Kern    (
As home to two military bases and an estimated 45,561 veterans, Kern County is direct witness to some of the challenges faced by returning veterans. Working with partners including local colleges and veterans services organizations, the Kern County Library is planning a series of programs centered around the main library’s Veterans Resource Center and the veteran families served through it. Programming will reach every geographical region of the county, and will offer a broad spectrum of activities such as film screenings, a musical concert, an archival military exhibit, and book and panel discussions. The programming schedule will include already existing veteran-related community events such as a job fair and a parade, as well as veterans events on the three partnering college campuses and two military bases in Kern County. The library will draw on community experts serving veterans from partner organizations to lead book, panel, and film discussions.

Lompoc Public Library (Santa Barbara County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Ashlee Chavez, Library Director
2010 census results indicate that veterans make up 8% of Lompoc’s population, and that figure excludes the large population of active duty service members stationed at nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. In order to promote community involvement, provoke discussion, and raise awareness of the experiences and challenges of Lompoc’s many veterans and service members, the Lompoc Public Library will carry out programs including film and speaker series, a veterans poetry/essay contest, and “Connect with a Veteran” and Veterans History Project programs designed to build connections between veterans and civilian communities. Partners will include local colleges and universities, the Lompoc Museum and Lompoc Historical Society, and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Long Beach Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Darla Wegener, Manager Main Library
With a population of 467,892, Long Beach is the most ethnically diverse large city in the US. In 2011, an estimated 30,881 veterans called Long Beach home, amounting to 6.6% of the total population.  Working with partners including the Homeless Veterans Forum, Women’s Homeless Vets, US VA and VFW, and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Development agency, Long Beach Public Library will bring together veteran and civilian communities through events ranging from a veterans film festival to exhibits of veterans memorabilia and an open house for disabled veterans at the information center of the Veterans Hospital. These events will promote greater awareness of veterans’ experiences and understanding what the Long Beach community can do for returning veterans as well as providing veterans with access to support and resources.

County of Los Angeles Public Library Jurisdiction (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Susan Broman, Head of Adult and Digital Services
With programs planned across eleven library branches and four Ethnic Resource Centers serving diverse audiences, the County of Los Angeles Public Library aims to create partnerships with organizations that serve veterans and their families as well as to increase awareness of the issues veterans face as they return home. Programs will bring together veterans of all ages, families of veterans, and the general public around activities such as lectures and panel discussions, film series and discussions, veterans round tables, workshops for veterans on accessing benefits and other resources, and a ceremony honoring veterans. Partners will include veterans organizations, active duty military agencies and associations, and city government offices throughout Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro) 
Project Director: Ruth Seid, West Valley Area Manager
Bringing together intergenerational groups of civilians and veterans, the Los Angeles Public Library will engage its constituent communities in a discussion of the experience of veterans returning from war in order to promote a better understanding of the challenges veterans face and the strengths they bring to reintegrating into non-military society. Teens will be encouraged to take part in book discussions and film screenings as a way to help them understand what it is like to enlist or be drafted into military service. Children will be engaged through programs involving veteran war dogs. Partners will include local veterans hospitals, the Los Angeles Law Library, Military Working Dogs Adoptions organization, and AmeriCorps’s Cal Vets program.

Mendocino County Library (Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library, Mendocino County, Far North)
Project Director: Eliza Wingate, Ukiah Branch Librarian
In small rural communities like Mendocino County, veterans’ experiences and issues can struggle to find visibility. To shed light on the hardships as well as the triumphs experienced by those returning from way, Mendocino County Library will host programs including a screening of the documentary, “Ground Operations,” that will connect veterans with members of the local food movement in Mendocino, and an open roundtable discussion with local veterans and community members led by Dr. Kevin Mack, head of mental health services for the Ukiah VA. Partners will include the Ukiah VA Outpatient Clinic, the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, the Farmer Veterans Coalition, and the Mendocino Food Policy Council.

Monrovia Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Rebecca Elder, Librarian II/Literacy Coordinator
A wide range of programs designed to create a community connection for veterans and their families, friends, and caregivers, and geared toward multi-generational audiences, will establish the Monrovia Public Library as a vital resource for veterans. Events will range from creative writing and art workshops for youth and adult family members and friends of deployed servicemembers to yoga and relaxation sessions for veterans and their families/caregivers, from a Veteran’s Day celebration to 21st century technology and job skills workshops for veterans. Partners will include local artists, book clubs and literacy organizations, a clinical yoga therapist specializing in veteran rehabilitation work, and the California State Library.

Monterey County Free Libraries (Monterey County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Jenna Kelly, Supervising Librarian, Programming, Outreach, and Grants
With a population of nearly 20,000 veterans and the presence of U.S Army Garrison Presidio, Fort Hunter Liggett, Naval Post Graduate School, and the inactive Fort Ord Army post, Monterey County is poised to provide support to large numbers of veterans and active duty servicemen and women. Monterey County Free Libraries will reach out to diverse, multigenerational audiences, including veterans and active duty servicemembers and their families and friends, adults, seniors, teens through programs such as a traveling exhibit of selected work from the Combat Paper Project, a film series hosted at several library branches, panel discussions featuring JROTC members and high school students as well as veterans and library representatives, and presentations on topics ranging from the history of Fort Ord to the personal experiences of combat veteran and DAV Chairperson Kirk “Cheef” Johnson.”

Monterey Public Library (Monterey County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Karen Brown, Youth Services Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
The Naval Postgraduate School and Defense Language Institute bring almost 5000 members of the armed forces to Monterey in addition to the nearly 3000 staff members—civilian and military—who work there. The Monterey Public Library aims to spark conversations that cross political and professional boundaries, bringing together active duty service members with those active in the peace movement, teens with seniors, and history buffs with those uninvolved in history or politics. Events will include a reading by memoirist and former POW Phil Butler and veteran poets, a panel of expert speakers discussing veterans’ experiences in honor of Veterans Day, and an exhibition of art and writing on themes of war and reintegration by veterans and civilians alike. Partners will include the Naval Post Graduate School and Defense Language Institute along with Veterans for Peace and the Monterey Peace and Justice Center.

Moreno Valley Public Library (Riverside County, Inland Empire)
Project Director: Loes Knutson, Adult Services Librarian
Moreno Valley Public Library seeks to provide opportunities for members of the community, both veterans and nonveterans, to engage in discussions about the implications and reverberations of war on the soldier as an individual, on servicemembers’ families, and on the community as a whole. Programs will include a panel discussion with veterans and members of the wider to community to share their experiences and perspectives on reading What It Is Like to Go to War, and a creative writing project for high school students based on reading and discussion of the Marlantes book. Events will be carried out in partnership with the local chapters of the VFW, American Legion, and the U.S. Veterans Initiative, in addition to local colleges and social services organizations.

Oakland Public Library System (Asian Branch Library, Alameda County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Mana Tominaga, Supervising Librarian, Main Library
16,734 veterans call Oakland home, making veterans 4.2% of the city’s total population. Oakland Public Library System will partner with the local chapter of Veterans for Peace to develop and implement programming and to reach out to veterans as well as the wider community. In addition to book discussion groups, events such as teen and adult essay contests, theatrical workshops, film discussions, and a panel lecture on war trauma with faculty from the Graduate Theological Union will take place at the main and branch libraries. The Unsung Heroes oral history project will attend all programming to recruit veterans for interviews to be added to the collection housed at the Oakland History Room.

City of Oceanside Public Library (San Diego County, San Diego)
Project Director: Jennelise Hafen, Senior Librarian
With the Joseph H. Pendleton Marine Corps Base neighboring Oceanside to the north, Oceanside Public Library aims to strengthen connections between the community and the large population of enlisted and reserve soldiers and veterans in the area. In addition to reading and book discussion groups, programs will include a veterans and activity duty servicemember symposium, writing and art making workshops, a teen service project to benefit homeless and low-income veterans, and an exhibition and reading of art and personal narratives by veterans. Partners will include local colleges, VAs and veterans services organizations, local grassroots and art groups, and Camp Pendleton Base Libraries and Command Museum.

Orange County Public Library (Orange County, Orange County)
Project Director: Sherry Toth, Programs Coordinator
With an estimated 133,000 veteran residents—the third largest population of veterans in California—war has always come home to Orange County. Orange County Public Libraries aim to mend the information disconnect that makes it difficult for the public to understand how military service shapes a person and impacts their family, and to raise awareness about the veteran experience. Working in partnership with the Bowers Museum, the VSO, and the UC Irvine Humanities Department, OC Public Library branches will play host to events ranging from film screenings and writing workshops to veterans services outreach seminars and veteran oral history collection projects. Local authors and graduate students will lead book discussions and share their experiences and reflections with a wider public via the library’s website and blog.

Oxnard Public Library (South Oxnard Branch, Ventura County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Karen Schatz, Librarian II 
Naval Base Ventura County is home to a population of over 19,000 servicemen and women, and over 200 new veteran servicemembers are processed from the base each month. Located just four miles from the Naval Base, the Oxnard Public Library will host programs ranging from film screenings and veterans panel discussions to K-12 programming and community service activities in order to promote a greater understanding of veterans’ experiences and to strengthen ties between veterans and the Oxnard community. Oxnard Public Library’s series of events will be one way to mitigate the feelings of isolation some veterans face. Partners will include the American Legion, CA Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, Academy Award nominated producer Dulanie Ellis, and equine therapy organization Reigns of Hope.

Palo Alto City Library (San Mateo County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Laurie Hastings, Senior Librarian
The Palo Alto City Library will present a series of programs and activities intended to reach out to a diverse audience of veterans, civilians, students, children, and families of vets from various backgrounds, with a particular focus on the Latino community. Programs will include a creative writing and photography workshop for veterans, an exhibit of veterans’ photographs at the Palo Alto Art Center and Palo Alto Library, a community celebration honoring veterans and their families, film screenings, book discussions, and facilitated civic conversations. Partners include local school districts and community colleges, the VA Medical Center, and the Palo Alto Art Center.

Pleasanton Public Library (Alameda County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Julie Eseltine, Librarian
Pleasanton Public Library plans programs intended to raise awareness among the general public about veterans’ experiences, invite related public discussions, and highlight the ways community members can actively show support and understanding for veterans. Programs including a veteran panel discussion and a presentation by the Coming Home Project—an organization specializing in services that support the reintegration process of veterans—are designed to be a means of connecting service members with the larger community, promoting a more informed and enriched citizenry, and fostering a positive and nurturing cultural atmosphere for current and former military personnel. Partners include the Coming Home Project, local colleges and school districts, local VA Health Care System offices, Pleasanton city government offices, and VSOs.

Riverside County Library Jurisdiction (Riverside County, Inland Empire)
Project Director: Barbara Howison, Administrator
13.3% of Riverside County residents are veterans. To spark dialogue across generational and military-civilian boundaries, and to contribute to the collection of veterans’ oral histories on both a local and national level, Riverside County Library Jurisdiction will host a series of programs, several of which will be targeted specifically toward youth. Through one of these programs, middle and high school students will use a digital recorder to interview veterans at a local senior center, while trained library staff and volunteers will use a high quality scanner to preserve wartime mementos such as letters and photographs. Collected interviews and memorabilia will be submitted to the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project.

Riverside Public Library (Riverside County, Inland Empire)
Project Director: Tonya Kennon, Director
Riverside is home to Riverside National Cemetery, one of only four sites in the US recognized by Congress as a National Medal of Honor Site. Riverside Public Library will pay tribute to the memory of those laid to rest in the National Cemetery, as well as to the city’s own history as the location of major training bases and military camps during WWII, through programs targeted toward diverse, multigenerational audiences. Activities will include a veteran-led book discussion, panel talks with veterans and historians, library and museum exhibits, story time with the Mayor, a virtual tour of the National Historic Landmark Harada House, film screenings and discussions, craft programs, oral histories, and a special Tuskegee Airman program. Partners will include the Riverside Metropolitan Museum, local school districts and UC Riverside, the city’s Community Development Department, and local veterans groups.

Sacramento Public Library (Sacramento County, Sacramento Metro)
Project Director: Lori Easterwood, Programming and Partnerships Coordinator
The Sacramento Public Library will host programs that give a voice to some of the 90,000+ veterans who call Sacramento County home through book club discussions and film screenings facilitated by veterans. The library’s Valley to Vietnam veteran interview series will be edited into a short documentary and shown in branches with Q&A with participating veterans. The library will also host writing workshops for veterans—including a poetry workshop led by former Sacramento poet laureate Bob Stanley—and a USO-style concert with the River City Concert Band.

San Bernardino County Library Jurisdiction (San Bernardino County, Inland Empire)
Project Director: Liz Smith, Services and Programs Lead
Comprising 32 branch libraries spanning an area of 20,000 square miles, the San Bernardino County Library System serves a large and diverse—in age as well as ethnicity—constituency. San Bernardino County Library will host programs meant to bring together multigenerational audiences in order to raise awareness and appreciation of local veterans and the difficulties many veterans have endured. Activities will include book clubs and book talks, meet and greet events with local veterans organizations, a community fair, and a veteran appreciation ceremony with local officials. Partners will include a variety of city governments, school districts, and local veterans organizations stretching across the length of the county.

San Diego County Library (San Diego County, San Diego)
Project Director: Angelica Fortin, Program Services Manager
In addition to the large number of active duty service members and their families living in the region, San Diego is home to the second largest population of veterans in the country. Thus, for the San Diego County Library it is critically important to host programs that will build community, dispel stereotypes, and establish the library as a safe space for veterans to share their stories and engage with the community. Some of the activities planned for War Comes Home include a veterans fair, a military tattoo art exhibit, “local heroes storytimes” featuring local veterans as readers at storytimes for children between the ages of 3-5, writing workshops, and a military HOME clinic offering free assistance with foreclosure and loan modification for military families.

San Diego Public Library (San Diego County, San Diego)
Project Director: Marc Chery, Supervisor of Literature Section
San Diego is home to one of the largest military complexes in the nation. In order to facilitate and promote dialogue among veterans and non-veterans, San Diego Public Library will host a multifaceted program of activities—including creative writing workshops, readings, interviews, public affairs, visual arts, performance events, and book discussions—with the goal of creating an environment of safe, open expression, and thereby a healthier community. Partners will include narrative arts collective So Say We All, public media stations KPBS, KNSJ, and KSDS, the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, the Combat Arts Program, and numerous local and regional community and veterans groups.

San Francisco Public Library (Friends of the SFPL, San Francisco County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Michelle Jeffers, Acting Chief, Communications, Programs & Partnerships
The San Francisco Public Library will create a space for individual veterans’ experiences to be shared, and for the civilian population to gain a deeper and more personal understanding of those experiences. Working with partners including San Francisco State University’s Cesar Chavez Student Center, SFPL will carry out programs like an art exhibit exploring how art can be used as a creative outlet to share and heal the complex experiences of war for veterans, their families, and friends, as well as a series of panel discussions on topics such as the experiences of female veterans, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated veterans, and Native American veterans. Programs will take place on the SFSU campus in addition to the main library and several branch libraries.

San Jose Public Library System (Santa Clara County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Angie Miraflor, Senior Librarian
Working in partnership with San Jose State University, with whom they co-own and co-manage Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose Public Library will conduct at least 28 events around War Comes Home-related themes. A broad range of programs will attract a rich segment of San Jose’s diverse population (33% Hispanic, 32% Asian, 29% White, 3.2% African American, 3.1% other) of nearly a million people. Activities will include speaker panels focusing on young veterans’ and female veterans’ issues, book clubs, film screenings, letter writing and care package making programs for children and teens, and a veterans oral history collection project for teens in partnership with Digital Clubhouse Network.

San Leandro Public Library System (Alameda County, Bay Area)
Project Director: Mary Beth Barloga, Education Specialist
With a veteran population comprising 7.4% of the city’s total population, San Leandro has a long tradition of honoring veterans through parades and holidays. What is lacking, however, is much needed discussion about the responsibilities of, and our responsibilities to, veterans in the community. San Leandro Public Library aims to correct this through programs targeting veterans, children and young adults, and women readers who might be reluctant to read a “war story.” Activities including intergenerational reading and discussion groups, panel discussions, a film series, and a tour of the 100th/442nd RCT and MIS exhibit onboard the USS Hornet will spark a city-wide conversation and promote greater understanding of what it is like to go to war and the issues of reintegration for returning soldiers.

Santa Ana Public Library (Orange County, Orange County)
Project Director: Milly Lugo-Rios, Senior Librarian – Adult Services
How can veterans share the complexity of their experiences with others in the community? In addition to book discussion programs, Santa Ana Public Library (SAPL) will facilitate making these connections by organizing an intergenerational veteran’s oral history project conducted by their Teen Oral Historians, an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia from local veterans, a speakers' series on women at war, effects on families, homelessness, and other topics. With a 78% Hispanic population, SAPL will schedule events to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month and offer programming in Spanish and English.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries (Santa Cruz County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Janis O’Driscoll, Division Manager of Programs & Partnerships
In collaboration with Watsonville Public Library, Santa Cruz Public Libraries will create a Santa Cruz/Watsonville community planning group representing veterans, the general population, schools, Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz, and the arts community. This planning group will use the occasion provided by Marlantes’ book to seek to create intergenerational dialogue on war and what is like to come home. Activities will include oral history collection and documentation, writing workshops, community forums and dialogues, participatory art-making events, live and virtual presentations by veterans and scholars, film screenings and discussions, and community service activities.

Santa Maria Public Library (Santa Barbara County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Lea Cryor, Librarian II
Santa Barbara County is home to around 25,000 veterans, about of whom 7000 reside in the Santa Maria area. Santa Maria Public Library will host a variety of programs to create intergenerational dialogue and enable younger audience members to gain a deeper understanding of war’s costs and a better appreciation of the sacrifices made by their family members, friends, and neighbors who have served. Activities will include a reading of veterans’ oral histories, a film series, an exhibit of memorabilia from local veterans, and a discussion on the experiences of current military personnel by a representative of Vandenberg Air Force Base’s 30th Space Wing. Partners will include local branches of the VFW and American Legion, the Marine Corps League and Women’s Marine Association, and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino.

Shasta Public Libraries (Shasta County, Far North)
Project Director: Elizabeth Kelley, Adult Services Manager
Shasta Public Libraries will anchor programs around questions of what it means to come home from war—the challenges faced by soldiers returning from combat, and the skills and capabilities they bring back with them. Shasta Public Libraries already work closely with many of the veterans who make up 10.8% of the county’s total population, but programs like a film series, bimonthly pizza parties offering where teens can interact with a panel of veterans, and a book club with local author Debbie Sprague will enable SPL to encourage community reflection on the needs and challenges returning veterans face. Partners will include the Shasta County VSO, Shasta Community College and Shasta College English Department, and the Shasta College Student Veterans Club.

South Pasadena Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Steven Fjeldsted, City Librarian
South Pasadena Public Library will reach out to teens, adults, and veterans with a series of programs designed to raise awareness of the issues faced by servicemembers and veterans. Film screenings, intergenerational reading groups, and an author night featuring nationally renowned and Pulitzer Prize-nominated authors who have written on themes relevant to the War Comes Home initiative will promote dialogue and discussion, and will increase empathy for veterans’ experiences. Partners will include local school districts and newspapers, the South Pasadena Women’s Club, and the Meridian Ironworks Museum of South Pasadena.

Tulare County Library (Tulare County, Central Valley)
Project Director: Carol Beers, Librarian I
Tulare County is home to more than 18,000 US veterans, too many of whom face issues of unemployment, mental health problems, and disabilities due to combat injuries. To raise awareness of the issues faced by veterans, Tulare County Library is planning a series of programs that will highlight both the problems attendant on returning home from war as well as the value veterans bring to their communities. Activities will include a traveling exhibit of transcripts from “Years of Valor—Tulare County 1941-1946,” a countywide film series, panel discussions on the issues facing veterans, and a Veterans Day celebration for local veterans. Tulare County Library will also partner with local teens to collect oral histories of Vietnam veterans and work with veterans organizations to determine additional ways the library can meet veterans’ needs.

Watsonville Public Library (Santa Cruz County, Central Coast)
Project Director: Watonka Addison, Adult Services Librarian
In collaboration with Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Watsonville Public Library will create a Watsonville/Santa Cruz community planning group representing veterans, the general population, schools, Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz, and the arts community. This planning group will use the occasion provided by Marlantes’ book to seek to create intergenerational dialogue on war and what is like to come home. Activities will include oral history collection and documentation, writing workshops, community forums and dialogues, participatory art-making events, live and virtual presentations by veterans and scholars, film screenings and discussions, and community service activities.

Whittier Public Library (Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Metro)
Project Director: Nicole Schulert, Librarian
The Whittier Public Library will build on the programming work begun upon receipt of a Veterans Initiative grant from the California State Library. In addition to book discussions and film screenings, Whittier Public Library will coordinate with the Red Cross to host a Veterans History Project event at which oral history interviews will be recorded for preservation in the National Archives. These activities will help promote meaningful and empathetic relationships between veterans and those with very little idea of veterans’ experiences. Partners will include the Red Cross, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the local Elks Lodge and the Whittier post of the American Legion, and veterans services agencies in Los Angeles County.


For 2011-12, the California Reads program is part of our Searching for Democracy initiative. 

Butte County Library (Butte County)
Project Director: Kimberlee Wheeler, Library Marketing Coordinator,
Bringing the County’s growing senior population together with young people is a primary goal of the library’s programs, which will focus around reading and discussion of Lost City Radio. Additional activities will include an author visit and panel presentations conducted in partnership with five branch libraries, library Friend’s groups, CSU Chico’s College of Humanities and Fine Arts and Interdisciplinary Center on Aging, as well as local NPR-affiliated radio stations.

Camarena Memorial Library, Calexico (Imperial County)
Project Director: Sandra Tauler, Community Services Director,
Author visits, book discussions, and related art activities for youth and adults using Lost City Radio and A Paradise Built in Hell will engage residents of this ethnically and culturally diverse community on the U.S./Mexico border in discussing the meaning of democracy. Programs will be implemented in partnership with Calexico Arts Commission, local school districts, the California Teachers Association, and the Chamber of Commerce, helping the library serve both existing and new constituencies. 

Camarillo Public Library/Friends of the Camarillo Library (Ventura County)
Project Director: Barbara Wolfe, Library Director,
The library plans to facilitate a community-wide discussion, focusing on A Paradise Built in Hell and other titles, about the boundaries that separate people and how democracy and community can be strengthened through acts of care and compassion. Author visits, film screenings, children’s programming, and book discussions will be implemented in collaboration with the local school district, arts, business, and service organizations, local print and broadcast media outlets, and CSU Channel Islands.

Chula Vista Library/Friends of the Chula Vista Library (San Diego County)
Project Director: Imozelle McVeigh, Volunteer,
Once known as the “Celery Capital of the World,” Chula Vista had a thriving Japanese-American farming community before WWII. The library’s programs will investigate this largely-forgotten local history and stimulate reflection and discussion of the value of tolerance in a diverse society. Supported by partnerships with local museums, service organizations, and schools, the library plans several months of activities geared for patrons of all ages, including exhibits, heritage tours, story-sharing events, and book discussions focused on Farewell to Manzanar.

Contra Costa County Library (Contra Costa County)
Project Director: Maureen Kilmurray, Senior Community Library Manager, Public Services,
In partnership with the Contra Costa Times, local historical societies and cultural organizations, and high school and higher educational institutions, library programs built around Lost City Radio and Farewell to Manzanar will offer residents of different generations and cultural backgrounds ways to connect with one another, as well as strengthen ties between local libraries, schools, media and civic organizations. Programs planned include film screenings, performances, lecture-discussions, community forums and author appearances. 

Corona Public Library (Riverside County)
Project Director: Chris Tina Smith, Library Supervisor,
Building on the success of past community-wide reads, Corona Library will focus its activities in fall 2012, engaging residents in consideration and discussion of the meaning of citizenship and raising awareness of local history. Plans for author visits, cultural activities, film screenings, and community forums will complement reading and discussion of Farewell to Manzanar. Community partners include the library Friends group, Corona Unified School District, and local and regional museums.

County of Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Susan Broman, Adult Services Coordinator,
County residents will be invited to explore the meaning of our nation’s founding documents, the democratic visions they embody, and how they can participate more fully in contemporary civic and political life through programs supported by partnerships with local and state government agencies, museums, cultural groups, historical societies, and civic and political organizations throughout the County. Activities geared for teens through seniors will range from “candidate schools” to musical performances to public forums on the role of the press to voter registration activities, in addition to author appearances, film screenings and book discussions focused on the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence and Farewell to Manzanar.

El Dorado County Library/Friends of El Dorado County Library (El Dorado County)
Project Director: Jeanne Amos, Library Director,
Working with the support of many community partners, the library will develop programs around the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence aiming to increase intergenerational understanding and promote constructive dialogue across the political spectrum. Activities for children, teens and adults, including film screenings, author visits, book groups and a pre-election community forum will take place at libraries as well as in classrooms and museums throughout this High Sierra community. 

Fresno County Public Library (Fresno County)
Project Director: Linda Aragon, Senior Programming Librarian,
Promoting a stronger sense of community and a more informed citizenry are at the top of the library’s goals in developing a countywide series of programs and activities around Farewell to Manzanar reaching more than 20 branches of this large Central Valley system. Appearances by authors, film screenings, exhibits, musical and performing arts program and local history activities will supplement reading and discussion groups for all ages. Partners include local K-12 schools, community colleges, CSU Fresno, the ACLU, the Asian Bar Association, and several Fresno-area museums and cultural centers. 

Fullerton Public Library (Orange County)
Project Director: Chaunacey Dunklee, Senior Reference Librarian,
Reading and discussion of Farewell to Manzanar will provide a forum for community dialogue about what it means to be American in a diverse society, and provide opportunities for Fullerton residents to get to know their neighbors better. Additional activities include an oral history collection project, classroom tie-ins, and speakers on the Japanese-American internment. Local partners include the City of Fullerton, CSU Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History, and Fullerton Unified School District.

Glendora Public Library/Glendora Public Library Friends Foundation (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Cindy Romero, Senior Librarian Youth Services,
In furtherance of its mission of promoting civic engagement, the library will develop community-wide programming around the themes of civic duty and civil rights raised by Farewell to Manzanar. Partnerships with the local historical society, Azusa Pacific University, city agencies, local booksellers, and public and private schools will support a diverse array of activities for community members of all ages, including field trips, public forums, exhibits and teacher trainings.

Hayward Public Library (Alameda County)
Project Director: Melesha Owen, Adult Services Manager,
Hayward’s location on an earthquake fault provides a context for consideration of community and common purpose, especially in times of crisis. Using A Paradise Built in Hell as a stimulus to dialogue and discussion, the library also plans an appearance by author Rebecca Solnit, as well as “book-to-action” programs such as emergency preparedness workshops, and an “Earthquake Tour” to be hosted by the Hayward Historical Society. Additional partners include the local AAUW chapter, Chabot College, The Hayward Fire Department, and Hayward Unified School District.

Imperial County Free Library (Imperial County)
Project Director: Connie Barrington, County Librarian,
The meaning of democracy in a multicultural society will be explored through reading and discussion of Farewell to Manzanar, It Can’t Happen Here, and Lost City Radio along with various book-related activities for young people, adults and Spanish-speaking residents of this small but diverse community in southeastern California. Community partners include local schools, the Pioneers Museum of Imperial County, and the Holtville Women’s Club.

Inglewood Public Library (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Kay Ikuta, Principal Librarian,
Residents of this culturally diverse community will consider the meaning of democracy through reading and discussion activities, speaking engagements, and film screenings built around three books from the slate – Farewell to Manzanar, Lost City Radio, and A Paradise Built in Hell. The library has reached out to enlist a wide range of community partners include public and parochial schools, the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, the Chamber of Commerce, and local print and broadcast media.

Kern County Library (Kern County)
Project Director: Andrea Apple, Head of Public Services,
A community conversation sparked by reading A Paradise Built in Hell will serve the library’s goals of developing a more informed populace and increasing awareness of the importance of civic engagement to a vibrant democracy. The library will work with local community colleges, CSU Bakersfield, media outlets, and a wide range of public agencies and NGOs, along with advocacy and nonpartisan political organizations, to organize and host book discussions, speaking engagements by authors and experts, local history programs, and disaster preparedness activities and workshops. 

Lodi Public Library (San Joaquin County)
Project Director: Andrea Woodruff, Library Services Manager,
Native-born as well as immigrant residents of this multiethnic Central Valley community will gain a better understanding of our nation’s foundational documents through reading and discussion of the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The library will partner with the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Lodi Unified School District, the local DAR chapter, and the Lodi News-Sentinel to implement a wide range of activities for all ages, including a teen video-making contest, book and film-based discussions, and a panel discussion between Constitutional law scholars.

Lompoc Public Library
Project Director: Molly Gerald, Library Director,
Connecting the community’s past with present concerns, the library will use Farewell to Manzanar to reexamine Lompoc’s history and raise awareness of the library’s role as a center of community life and a locus for civic dialogue. A diverse array of partners including Lompoc’s Unified School District, Boys and Girls Club, Police Activities League and Historical Society will help the library plan and implement activities, including author visits, exhibits, and special programs at libraries and schools for young people. 

Long Beach Public Library (in collaboration with Signal Hill Public Library) (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Darla Wegener, Manager, Main Library,
Library programs developed using A Paradise Built in Hell, Farewell to Manzanar and It Can’t Happen Here will enlist residents of these highly diverse cities in exploring the meaning of democracy through various programs including book discussions, art activities, historical exhibits, lectures, performances, films and author visits. Partners include the Long Beach Historical Society, Long Beach City College, CSU Long Beach, and many community ethnic, cultural and civic organizations. 

Los Angeles Public Library (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Ruth Seid, Principal Librarian,
Programming at this large urban library system will reach throughout the city and engage residents in consideration of the meaning of democracy, community and civic life using the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence, A Paradise Built in Hell, Farewell to Manzanar, and It Can’t Happen Here. Seven branches will host programs in collaboration with a diverse array of local partners including theater groups, community organizations, the League of Women Voters, middle and high schools, and Town Hall of Los Angeles.

Mendocino County Library District (Mendocino County)
Project Director: Melanie Lightbody, Library Director,
Hoping to provide an opportunity for residents of this largely rural Northern California region to move beyond entrenched ideological divisions, programs developed around A Paradise Built in Hell will engage people in discussion about the meaning of community and democracy. Art exhibits, poetry readings, and book discussions throughout the county will be hosted by libraries in collaboration with arts and cultural organizations. 

Mono County Library (Mono County)
Project Director: Sulin Jones, Senior Librarian,
Activities planned around the community reading of A Paradise Built in Hell are as diverse as the population of this Eastern Sierra region: “disaster chef” workshops for children and adults, a guided hike of the Mono Craters (which are the result of natural disaster), and film screenings and book discussions. Library partners include two county Friends of the Library groups, Town of Mammoth Lakes Community Emergency Response Team, the police department and sheriff’s office, Burners without Borders, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Dogs, local fire departments, the US Geological Society, and many other local public and community agencies. 

Monrovia Public Library (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Alice Kuo, Librarian II, Adult Services,
Through writing and music workshops, film screenings and author appearances, along with reading and discussion programs, the library plans to stimulate dialogue about democracy among community members of varying ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. Located near the site that served as the largest assembly center for Japanese American internees during WWII, Monrovia Library has a special connection to the historical events described in Farewell to Manzanar. Partnerships with local artists and arts organizations will support programming and outreach activities.

Monterey County Free Libraries (Monterey County)
Project Director: Courtney Amparo, Supervising Librarian, Youth Services,
Through its CA Read activities, the library seeks to gather its diverse community around the reading of Farewell to Manzanar, Lost City Radio, and the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Program activities include discussions of banned books, an author visit, and community discussion of the Constitution conducted in partnership with the National Steinbeck Center, Friends of the Library organizations, and CSU Monterey Bay.

Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library (Los Angeles County)
Project Director: Cindy Costales, Senior Librarian & Manager, Adult/Teen Services,
The library community is both culturally and ethnically diverse and its reading program focused on A Paradise Built in Hell will provide an opportunity to bring different groups together. Partnering with local K-12 educators and school district offices, East Los Angeles College, Prize Books Club, Monterey Park Women’s Club, the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce, and other public agencies, the library has planned program activities such as author talks, a community forum on disaster preparedness, and film screenings, along with traditional book discussions.

Monterey Public Library (Monterey County)
Project Director: Karen Brown, Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Services Manager,
“When a topic is difficult to talk about, a book can often help.” Building from this insight, Monterey Library plans to use Farewell to Manzanar to inform city residents about the Japanese American WWII internment and foster discussion about the past, present and future of democracy and community. Activities will include storysharing and oral history programming, speakers and presentations, and book discussions. The Japanese American Citizens League, K-12 schools, local authors and artists, and Monterey cable TV will provide support and assistance with programming and outreach.

Moorpark City Library (Ventura County)
Project Director: Heather Cousin, City Librarian,
The library-sponsored community-wide reading of the Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence will coincide with the celebration of the library’s centennial of service to Moorpark in 2012. The library plans to partner with other local public libraries, the neighboring Reagan Library and Foundation, local schools, civic organizations, Friends of the Library, local churches and other agencies. Engaging the entire community in exploring the theme of what it means to live in a democratic society is the core of the library’s program goals.

Newport Beach Public Library (Orange County)
Project Director: Jana Barbier, Cultural Arts Coordinator, City of Newport Beach,
The library aims to engage residents in exploring the meaning of democratic principles through reading and discussion of Professor Richard Beeman’s Annotated Constitution and Declaration of Independence, supplemented by film screenings, a lecture series, author appearances, and special activities for library literacy program learners and tutors. Programs will coincide with the opening of a new civic center complex adjacent to the library next spring, and involve partnerships with the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation (NBPLF) and the Newport Beach Film Festival. 

Orange County Public Libraries (Orange County)
Project Director: Sherry Toth, Programs Coordinator,
In pursuit of the library’s mission, program activities around the community reading of Farewell to Manzanar and Lost City Radio will enlighten and engage the communities in conversations about democracy, its meaning, and its importance to the country. Ac